Why are breads, cereals, rice, and pasta important?

These foods provide complex carbohydrates (starches), which are an important source of energy, especially in low fat diets.
They also provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The Food Guide Pyramid suggests 6 to 11 servings of these foods a day.

What counts as a serving?

1 slice of bread

1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal

1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice, or pasta


Aren't starchy foods fattening?

No. It's what you add to these foods or cook with them that adds most of the calories. For example: margarine or butter on bread, cream or cheese sauces on pasta, and the sugar and fat used with the flour in making cookies.

Here are some selection tips:

-To get the fiber you need, choose several servings a day of foods made from whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread and whole-grain cereals.

-Choose most often foods that are made with little fat or sugars. These include bread, english muffins, rice, and pasta.

-Baked goods made from flour, such as cakes, cookies, croissants, and pastries, count as part of this food group, by they are high in fat and sugars.

-Go easy on the fat and sugars you add as spreads, seasonings, or toppings.

-When preparing pasta, stuffing, and sauce from packaged mixes, use only half the butter or margarine suggested; if milk or cream is called for, use low fat milk.


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